360° Videos

Manual: How to watch 360° footage on YouTube

360° video is recorded by a special camera system that simultaneously record 360 degrees sphere. You can freely look around during watching the video – it’s like remotely controling the camera.

 

Computer: Click on the video and while holding down the left mouse button move the mouse to look around. You can also use W-A-S-D and arrow keys. 360 videos does not work in Safari, try Chrome or Firefox.

Tablet and Smartphone: Just tap on the video and drag to look around or simply move/tilt your mobile device. You have to use the newest version of the official YouTube app for Android/iOS to watch 360° degree video. Open link to the film in YouTube app, otherwise you will not be able to rotate the sphere. Be aware that some phones doesn’t have a gyroscope and physically tilting a device doesn’t change the point of view. 

VR gogles: The best way to watch VR footage is by using special VR goggles. Run YouTube app, click the goggles icon in the lower right corner of the screen and put smartphone into the goggles.

Quality: If the image is blurred then you have to manually select higher-quality by clicking on the gear/dots in the right corner of the video and selecting 1080S or 4K/2160p. Smooth playback of high-quality video requires powerful computer.

The correct way to watch 360 video is shown on the right. You can look around in the video.

If image appears to us as panorama in which you can’t move the camera then it means that the video is not working as it should. Remember to use newest YouTube app on a mobile device. 360 footage does not work in Safari nor IE, try Chrome or Firefox.

 

 

 

Gliders

Gliders look like airplanes without any engine. We hear only the whistle of air in flight.

 

How do gliders fly? We fly gliders using the thermic. In glider we can fly huge distances by using the forces of nature, just as the birds do. Gliders are designed that they have excellent aerodynamic performance in the range of ~ 30 to ~ 40 glide ratio. By simplifying, the “40” glide ratio means that (without using the engine) of every 1000m of altitude we have a range of 40km. For comparison: normal planes are  in the range of ~ 10 to ~ 15.

The glider’s launch can take place in three ways:
1. You can tow it on the rope behind a normal motorized plane
2. You can launch on the rope with a special airport winch, a bit like a kite
3. They can take off from the slope of the mountain

* There are gliders equipped with low power electric, combustion or hybrid motors. They are called motorgliders. Motorglider can be launched on their own, so we are not dependent on the need for an airport winch or a second airplane to tow us.

What I like about flying a glider is that we do not hear the engine and we do not feel the vibration coming from the drive. What’s more – there are gliders adapted for “stronger” acrobatics. Glider aerobatics is another experience for me than acrobatics in airplane.

How does glider fly, since there is no engine?

As we know, hot air goes up. When it is warm, the sun is shining, the earth is warming up. The earth is warming up in some places. In these places it causes air movement upwards, because the hot earth also heats the air. When flying the glider we are looking for chimneys, that is places where there are movements of air masses from the ground up. As soon as we find such places, we are circling at a place to gain altitude. Warm air literally lifts us up. As we get higher we can go further a dozen kilometers and you have to find another chimney again. Recorders fly so many hours and do thousands of kilometers. From the same phenomenon used by birds, so often you can see large birds flying wing in the wing with a glider. In addition to the chimneys you can also use the force of the wind on the mountainsides.

 

How does the glider take off?

The two most popular methods are towing a glider behind a plane or taking off with a winch:

Towing
You rent a suitable plane with the engine and attach a special rope to this plane. From the second end the same rope is attached to the glider. Now it is enough to tow the glider to the appropriate height and detach the rope from the glider. The plane landed, the glider flies further.

Winch
As there is no airplane to tow to the other option is called Winch. These are often more like a tractor with a big spool of rope. Winches are available at many airports. How it’s working? For simplicity – at one end of the airport is a glider. At the other end of the airport stands a winch. A very long rope extends throughout the airport and attaches to the glider’s nose. The rope is now rolled up quickly into a spool. The glider quickly rises. At the right time, the rope is detached from the glider. My first glider flight was behind the winch and the impression of acceleration is much bigger than in a sports car or a motorbike.

 

 

 

Motorgliders

What happens when the weather breaks down and the airport is far away? As it happens, you need to land in the field. Looking for the right place and land. There are also gliders with an additional low-power engine with combustion or electric propulsion. This way you do not have to wait for the plane or winch. We can put this moto-glider to a special trailer and go to fly where we want, we are not in favor of having a winch, because we can take off ourselves. Such motor can also help as the weather gets bad.

 

 

What is the cost of flying a glider and getting a license?

The cost of making a glider flight allowance is relatively very low if we consider air transport in general. For comparison – each hour of flight in a four-person helicopter is over 400euro / h, so the entire course of the glider costs only about two-three hours in helicopter … as if we want something even cheaper, they are only paragliders / motoparaload / fly / fly / balloon.

Why don’t you install engines for all gliders?
Total price and engine weight. A significant portion of gliders are leased aeroclub equipment and not private machines. Aeroclubs have mostly gliders that they use for training. Motorglider has enough electric power to drive itself and then generally not use the engine until landing. Motorglider are structures in which this engine can be fired as practically as we want on the fly – you can fly the whole flight with the engine.

 

My first airplane flight was a flight in the Puchacz Glider. Below is a movie from the flight. At first I was a bit surprised by the big acceleration behind the winch.

Glider aerobatic flight and glider flight are completely different things. Below is a video of my aerobatic flight on the Fox MDM1 glider.

At the beginning of the aerobatic flight I looked at wings and saw how much they bend. Someone who is flying for the first time may think that wings will break. In the video below you can see how it looks from the outside.

Aerobatics in glider is different experience than aerobatic in airplane. I wrote more about aerobatics in another text.

Towing glider behind airplane takes much longer than launching glider with the winch. In the case of towing, however, we have no feeling of rapid acceleration at with winch. If I were to recommend someone to take a flight, then I would suggest first to launch with the winch and experience the acceleration and then take the aerobatic flight with a glider during which we take off by towing behind the plane. This way we will check everything – from what I remember towing behind the plane took about 12-15 minutes.